"We want to produce two material properties with the same resin," said Adarsh Krishnamurthy, an associate professor of mechanical engineering and leader of the project at Iowa State. "That's revolutionary in terms of materials for 3D printing."
The researchers are using their expertise in materials chemistry, computational science, machine learning and materials characterization to find resins that, when exposed to different wavelengths of light, will solidify with different properties.
So, with one material, Digital Light Processing 3D printers could create products that are rigid in some places and flexible in others.
New materials for national needs
The project is one of 37 that NSF announced in September as part of a four-year, $72.5 million investment to "create novel materials to address grand societal challenges and develop the scientific and engineering workforce of tomorrow." The effort is part of the federal, multi-agency Materials Genome Initiative that's focused on quickly advancing materials invention and use.
"By integrating numerous research disciplines across NSF as well as federal and industrial partnerships, this program truly revolutionizes the design, discovery and development of new materials for addressing urgent national needs," said Sethuraman Panchanathan, director of the NSF.
The program awarded Iowa State researchers $800,000 to use artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to help develop new resins which can be printed with different properties. Krishnamurthy said the Iowa State team's experience with machine learning tools will help the researchers evaluate options and quickly identify potential materials.
The program also awarded UCSB researchers $1.1 million for their share of the project. Led by Michael Chabinyc, a professor of materials, the UCSB researchers will focus their work on polymer chemistry.
Krishnamurthy said the Iowa State and UCSB researchers will focus their efforts on building special biomedical platforms with structured surfaces of varying stiffnesses that can promote and direct the growth of cell cultures.
Currently, such cultures are grown on hard glass or a soft silicon polymer.
"But that's not how the body is," Krishnamurthy said. "The body has both - hard bone and soft tissue. The different stiffnesses promote better cell growth."
Computing material improvements
In addition to printing and testing actual materials, the researchers will develop a "digital twin" of the system. They can use this to simulate and predict how different resins will respond to a spectrum of light wavelengths and exposures.
Machine learning tools will also save the researchers tedious, time-consuming lab work by trimming the list of potential resins suitable for study and development.
In addition, the researchers will use a machine learning technique called reinforcement learning to make sure advances in experiments or theories lead to overall advancements of multi-material, light-based 3D printing.
All that computational science can help the Iowa State-UCSB team advance the Materials Genome Initiative's goal of "discovering, manufacturing, and deploying advanced materials twice as fast and at a fraction of the cost compared to traditional methods."
1. Additive Manufacturing Industry Analyst: 9/10
2. Stock and Finance Market Analyst: 8/10
3. Government Policy Analyst: 7/10
The article outlines an innovative project spearheaded by researchers at Iowa State University and the University of California, Santa Barbara. The project is aimed at revolutionizing Digital Light Processing (DLP) 3D printing by developing resins that can harden with different properties under varying wavelengths of light. Funded as part of the U.S. National Science Foundation's (NSF) broader Materials Genome Initiative, the research has implications for creating biomedical platforms and potentially for broader manufacturing needs.
The research targets a core limitation in additive manufacturing: the ability to print with multi-material properties. If successful, the technique could revolutionize not just DLP but potentially other 3D printing modalities.
Stock and Finance Markets:
Given the potential revolutionary impact on additive manufacturing, companies specializing in 3D printing, resin manufacturing, or related computational technologies could see a significant shift in market valuation.
The NSF's commitment, part of a four-year, $72.5 million initiative, indicates the federal government's strategy in fast-tracking materials science as a national priority. Such developments could affect policy on innovation, healthcare, and manufacturing.
Over the last 25 years, additive manufacturing has transitioned from rapid prototyping to functional part fabrication, yet the sector has been largely monomaterial. The research correlates with the industry's desire for more advanced materials and multi-material capabilities. Should this NSF-funded project be successful, it would be a landmark achievement, altering the scope of applications and even initiating a new phase in the industry's evolution.
The trend in additive manufacturing has been one of incremental improvements in materials and processes. The focus has gradually shifted from plastics to metals and more recently to biocompatible materials for healthcare applications. However, the concept of using a single resin to achieve multi-material properties through light modulation aligns more with a revolutionary jump than an incremental shift.
1. How will the development of multi-property resins disrupt the current supply chain in additive manufacturing?
2. What are the commercialization plans for the developed resins and techniques?
3. What legal frameworks or patents could potentially impede or accelerate the commercial application of this technology?
4. How could the government's Materials Genome Initiative be impacted by the success or failure of this project?
5. How could other sectors like automotive or aerospace benefit from these advancements in 3D printing materials?
This article encapsulates the confluence of research disciplines, public policy, and market implications, and is of high relevance across all analyzed sectors.
|Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters
UK and Axiom sign agreement on plans for historic human spaceflight mission
CRS-29 mission flies research to the Space Station
India launches key test for manned orbital mission
NASA improves GIANT optical navigation technology for future missions
'No prospects': Russians slowly leaving legendary spaceport city
SpaceX Achieves Back-to-Back Starlink Satellite Launches to Expand Global Internet Coverage
UK plans space mission after striking deal with US firm
New US rocket Vulcan Centaur set to launch on December 24
Sampling unique bedrock at the margin unit
Year 2075: Martian rovers saved from cyber attack
Mystery of the Martian core solved
Short but Sweet; Sols 3987-3988
China discloses tasks of Shenzhou-17 crewed space mission
Next-generation rocket for China's manned space missions on track
Final rehearsal for Shenzhou XVII flight completed
Chinese sci-fi fans over the moon at Chengdu Worldcon
Fugro SpAARC's operations set to grow with new funding from Western Australian Govt
French Space Days India 2023 celebrates Indo-French collaboration
Follow NASA's Starling Swarm in Real Time
Launch of Ovzon 3 targeted for as soon as December 2023
Researchers developing 'revolutionary' multi-material for light-based 3D printing
Tightbeam tech set to revolutionize Global Marine Internet through Aalyria-HICO Partnership
NASA's First Two-way End-to-End Laser Communications System
Light-powered multi-level memory tech revolutionizes data processing
ET phone Dublin? Astrophysicists scan the Galaxy for signs of life
Exoplanet-informed research helps search for radio technosignatures
Webb detects tiny quartz crystals in clouds of hot gas giant
Extreme habitats: Microbial life in Old Faithful Geyser
How NASA is protecting Europa Clipper from space radiation
NASA's Webb Discovers New Feature in Jupiter's Atmosphere
Plot thickens in hunt for ninth planet
Large mound structures on Kuiper belt object Arrokoth may have common origin
|Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters